The Last Shred of Credibility for the Nunes Memo Just Disappeared

As we’ve noted again and again, the Nunes memo is paper-thin, highly selective garbage designed to muddy the waters of the Trump investigation. Almost everything of note in it was public knowledge already, and most of its claims are refuted by publicly available counterevidence. Moreover, it wouldn’t even matter if its claims were true, as no laws were broken in any case and the underlying evidence against Trump and his associates remains massive and valid. It’s a pathetic exercise in bad faith.

There was only one claim in the memo that a well-meaning person could look at and say “well, maybe they have something there.” That was the implication that FBI officials used the Steele Dossier for part of the justification for the FISA warrant without disclosing that it was paid for in part by Clinton’s campaign. Again, this is a stretch of a stretch of a stretch: the Steele Dossier wasn’t the primary evidence used for the warrant, and it was paid for both Republicans at the Free Beacon and the Democrats under the Clinton. Also, as offenses go it would be minor at best. Still, one might think maybe there’s something there in need of correction or accountability in some small way.

But no. Not even that small fig leaf was accurate. The disclosure in question was fully made:

The court that approved surveillance of a former campaign adviser to President Trump was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, although the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

A now-declassified Republican memo alleged that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was duped into approving the wiretap request by a politicized FBI and Justice Department. The memo was written by House Intelligence Committee Republicans and alleged a “troubling breakdown of legal processes” flowing from the government’s wiretapping of former Trump aide Carter Page.

But its central allegation — that the government failed to disclose a source’s political bias — is baseless, the officials said.

The Justice Department made “ample disclosure of relevant, material facts” to the court that revealed “the research was being paid for by a political entity,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

What more is there to say? After months of damning disclosures in the Trump investigation, this is the best interference Republicans could manage to run?

Pathetic.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.